Summer is approaching, which means it’s time to clean up your grill, lay in a supply of potato salad and invite the neighbors over to sample your secret sauce recipe. In other words, it’s barbecue season! This year, take your barbecue to the next level with these fun party themes.
Movies Under the Stars
Fire up the grill and the outdoor projector for an outdoor movie night. Let the movie theater concession stand be your food guide and serve up burgers, hot dogs and pizza. Ice cold sodas should be the drink of choice. Set up a popcorn bar and allow your guests to go wild with a selection of popcorn seasonings and add-ins such as candy and nuts. Decorate your backyard with movie posters, café lights and plenty of blankets and throws.
Bring on the Beach
It’s not surprising that Lago Mar residents love beach-themed barbecues. Ditch the meat and lay on the seafood. Food Network provides a great selection of recipes for grilled shrimp, salmon, scallops and more. Throw beach towels over dining chairs, put citronella candles in seashells and place beach balls around the backyard. For the kids, set up a fishing game. Party favors including sunscreen and sunglasses can be packed into beach totes. Search party supply stores for beach-themed photo backdrops to capture the memories.
If you’ve got a firepit, you have the makings of a cool campout barbecue. Focus on serving the foods you would eat while camping. Grill Baby Grill has some great recipes. Make sure there is a cooler full of beer. S’mores are a given, but you can take them to the next level with these ideas from Like Mother Like Daughter. Set up a tent and toss out some sleeping bags for ambiance. For more fun, replace your outdoor chairs with logs or camping chairs. Give out prizes for the scariest ghost stories.
Throw a chic barbecue just for grownups. Lay down outdoor rugs, throw on some pillows and place low tables end to end. Cover the table with elegant fabric (no plastic tablecloths for this party). Use real dishes. If you don’t want to risk your own, mix-and-match pretty dishes from a second-hand shop. Skip the beer cooler and set up a bar cart or cocktail station. Try your hand at these elegant cocktails. Serve up some of these upscale dishes. Set out board games for entertainment.
Take your guests to Hawaii, Tahiti or wherever their favorite tropical destination is. Set up a table showcasing these fun finger foods. Pork and seafood are traditional luau foods. Break out the tiki torches, greet your guests with leis and serve tropical drinks. For entertainment, get your guests to limbo, have a hula station and keep your Don Ho Spotify playlist on repeat.
Beer & Barbecue
Barbecue without beer? Perish the thought. Plan to smoke brisket, chicken or sausage. Pick downhome sides like coleslaw, corn-on-the-cob and potato salad. Then let the tasting begin. Have each guest bring a six-pack of their favorite beer or pick up your favorite local craft brews. Do a blind tasting and let everyone rate their favorites. Don’t like beer? Do a bourbon tasting instead.